Attorney General

The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) provides legal advice and support to the Attorney General and the Solicitor General (the Law Officers) who give legal advice to government. The AGO helps the Law Officers perform other duties in the public interest, such as looking at sentences which may be too low.


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Secretary of State

Rt Hon Michael Ellis MP
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)

Suella Braverman MP
Attorney General


Latest News (from Department Twitter Feed)

17 Sep 2020, 4:52 p.m.
A #Hertfordshire bus driver who took photos of young girls leaving his bus and was found guilty of attempting to arrange a child sex offence has had his sentence increased under the #ULS scheme. https://t.co/jD0f3Gm147 https://t.co/gHakOOgkEj - Link
15 Sep 2020, 4 p.m.
Our #ULS stats have been updated today. You can use these to review the status, outcome, and details of cases referred to us under the ULS scheme. https://t.co/LbQUcSaosM - Link
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Attorney General Commons Appearances

Oral Answers to Questions is a regularly scheduled appearance where the Secretary of State and junior minister will answer at the Dispatch Box questions from backbench MPs

Other Commons Chamber appearances can be:
  • Urgent Questions where the Speaker has selected a question to which a Minister must reply that day
  • Adjornment Debates a 30 minute debate attended by a Minister that concludes the day in Parliament.
  • Oral Statements informing the Commons of a significant development, where backbench MP's can then question the Minister making the statement.

Westminster Hall debates are performed in response to backbench MPs or e-petitions asking for a Minister to address a detailed issue

Written Statements are made when a current event is not sufficiently significant to require an Oral Statement, but the House is required to be informed.

Most Recent Commons Appearances by Category
Date Type Title
Apr. 28 Oral Questions Oral Answers to Questions
Sep. 25 Urgent Questions Legal Advice: Prorogation
May. 22 Westminster Hall Information Disclosure: Pre-trial Abuse of Process Hearings
Dec. 11 Adjournment Debate Shooting of Abdulkarim Boudiaf
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Attorney General has not tabled any Bills during the current Session.


Attorney General - Laid Secondary Legislation

Dates Department Title Type
Laid
2 Jun 2020
In Force
Not stated
Attorney General Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 (Specified Proceedings) (Amendment) Order 2020
Parliamentary Status - Text of Legislation
Made negative procedure
This Order is made under section 3 of the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 (c. 23). Section 3 sets out the functions of the Director of Public Prosecutions. These include taking over the conduct of all criminal proceedings instituted on behalf of a police force, unless the proceedings are specified in an Order made by the Attorney General under section 3(3).
Laid
2 Jun 2020
In Force
Not stated
Attorney General Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 (Specified Proceedings) (Amendment) Order 2020
Parliamentary Status - Text of Legislation
Made negative procedure
This Order is made under section 3 of the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 (c. 23). Section 3 sets out the functions of the Director of Public Prosecutions. These include taking over the conduct of all criminal proceedings instituted on behalf of a police force, unless the proceedings are specified in an Order made by the Attorney General under section 3(3).
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Attorney General Publications


Attorney General Written Questions

Written Questions are submitted by Members of Parliament and the House of Lords to receive information or updates from a Department.

Departments are required to respond in a timely fashion and provide a response or requested information. Written Questions can compel detailed and specific information to be produced, and are frequently used as the source of news stories about the work of a Department.

Latest Written Question
Date Title Questioner
14 Sep 2020, 6:47 p.m. International Law Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Attorney General, with reference to the oral contribution of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on 8 September 2020, Official Report, column 509, on how many occasions since May 2010 the Government has brought forward legislative proposals giving powers to Ministers to breach international law.

Answer (Suella Braverman)

Parliament is sovereign as a matter of domestic law and can pass legislation, even if such legislation is in breach of the UK’s treaty obligations. From time to time tensions arise between our international obligations and domestic legislation. In 2012, The House of Lords Reform Bill 2012-13 was brought forward with the statement that the Deputy Prime Minister at the time was ‘unable to make a statement of compatibility under section 19(1)(a) of the Human Rights Act 1998’ which reflects the UK’s obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights (this Bill was later withdrawn for other reasons). Whilst pre-dating 2010, a further example from 2002 was when the then Government introduced the Communications Bill with a section 19(1)(b) certificate under the Human Rights Act 1998 (ie that whilst the Minster is unable to make a statement of compatibility the government nevertheless wishes to proceed with the Bill) because it was perceived that clause 309 of that Bill could be considered to violate our international obligations under article 10 of the ECHR. The current legislative proposal, if enacted, would deliver the wider objectives of the Protocol, which is to protect peace in NI and the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement.

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